NATIONAL REPORT AUSTRIA

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1 26th Session of the EFC Working Party on the Impact of Climate Change on Natural Hazards in Austria NATIONAL REPORT AUSTRIA Seite

2 Global increase of temperatures: between 1.8 C and 4.0 C (IPCC 2007) Impacts of global warming are already apparent in the Alps: decrease of 20% of the mean summer precipitation regional changes between -10% and +20% for winter precipitation Frequent extreme (storms, heavy rainfall) increasingly causing debris flows and floods associated with considerable ecological, economical and social damage Seite

3 winter precipitation in the Alpine Region. Seite

4 Large parts of Austria within the Alpine arc and related climatic conditions are at considerable risk of being affected by natural disasters Extreme natural disasters in the near past: Avalanche disaster 1999 (Tyrol, Vorarlberg) Flood disaster 2002 (Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria) Flood and landslide disaster 2005 (Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg) Extreme snowfall event 2006 (Salzburg, Styria) Strom disasters 2007/2008: Kyril, Emma and Paula Seite

5 Avalanche Galtür 1999 Flood Danube 2002 Flood Paznaun Valley 2005 Snow loade disaster Reichenhall 2006 Storm Kyrill 2007 Seite

6 Recent research results indicate that Climate Change has a paramount impact on natural hazards in the Alpine environment. The following changes are expected: probable increase of floods in frequency and amplitude increase of avalanches in frequency and run out distances extreme low water periods and droughts mainly in the summer lowering of the water table; reduction of reservoirs of storage dams risk of rock falls and slides caused by melting permafrost and melting glaciers intensified risk of forest fires Seite

7 Floods in August 2002: claimed nine lives, had very detrimental effects on settlements and caused damages of approximately 3 billion Euros. Floods and Landslides 2005: Austria s west experienced extreme rainfalls up to 250 mm a day, which led to disastrous floods again, causing damages of about 700 million Euros. Storm events Paula and Emma 2008: Destruction of vast areas of forest in Styria, total damage of 4,15 Mio. cubic meter of wood. Seite

8 Natural hazards are phenomena in nature that cannot be prevented, only mitigated. Climate changes triggers changes that force to adapt human life to these changing risks. New strategies and approaches to adaptation: Precaution in area Precaution in building Precaution in behaviour Seite

9 = provision of necessary areas for flood retention and land use adapted to hazard potential Seite

10 = area development adapted to hazard potenzial, technical protection of buildings Seite

11 = public information, development of conciousness and acceptance for natural hazards, education Seite

12 Austria takes great efforts in R&D and participates in numerous international CC-adaptation projects: Flood Risk I (2004) and Flood Risk II (2008) ClimChAlp (Interreg III) AdaptAlp and CLISP (Interreg IV) National Climate und Energy Fund MEDEA (data information system for meteorological extreme events in Austria) CIRCLE and CRUE (EraNet) STARTCLIM (national funding initiative in CC-research ) Seite

13 Transnational cooperation in the Alpine Space should be further intensified to exchange experiences, knowledge and methods between administration, technical authorities and scientists. Monitoring of slope deformations and other natural hazards should be intensified to identify zones at risks as soon as possible. Historic data as a retro-perspective analysis tool should be included for all kind of monitoring and scenario building. A full coverage of hazard maps should be provided for areal development. A risk dialogue has to be initiated between experts, administration and the public. Seite

14 Transnational cooperation in the Alpine Space should be further intensified to exchange experiences, knowledge and methods between administration, technical authorities and scientists. Monitoring of slope deformations and other natural hazards should be intensified to identify zones at risks as soon as possible. Historic data as a retro-perspective analysis tool should be included for all kind of monitoring and scenario building. A full coverage of hazard maps should be provided for areal development. A risk dialogue has to be initiated between experts, administration and the public. Seite

15 Trust me, in this area avalanches are a calculable risk! Let s hope that this will not be the result of climate change in the near future at least not in Austria. Thanks for Attention! Seite

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